Solving the Furniture Industry’s Damaged Goods Dilemma

Furniture manufacturers face a common challenge; goods becoming damaged during transit.

The logistics of shipping bulky and irregularly shaped items often result in them arriving at their destination in less-than-ideal condition. However, a growing number of manufacturers are discovering a solution to this problem through investment in Right Size packaging technology, with companies like Panotec leading the charge.

The Damaged Goods Dilemma

For furniture manufacturers, damaged goods represent more than just a financial setback. They impact customer trust, harm brand reputation, and disrupt your supply chain. The nature of furniture, large, heavy, and often fragile makes it particularly susceptible to damage during transit. Traditional one-size-fits-all packaging methods often fall short of protecting these items, leading to an alarming rate of returns.

Right Size Packaging

Right Size packaging has changed the way furniture manufacturers approach packaging. Instead of using standardised boxes that leave unused space and excessive void filler, Right Size packaging involves customising packaging to fit each product’s exact dimensions. This tailored approach minimises wasted space, reduces the risk of product movement during transit, and enhances overall protection.

Who Are Panotec?

Panotec is a leader in automated packaging solutions, offering various systems that enable furniture manufacturers to optimise their packaging processes. By leveraging Panotec’s automated systems, manufacturers can produce custom-sized boxes on demand, ensuring that each item is packaged securely and efficiently. This not only reduces the likelihood of damage during transit but also streamlines operations and cuts down on material waste.

Benefits Beyond Damage Prevention

Investing in Right Size packaging with Panotec offers a host of benefits beyond mitigating damaged products. Manufacturers can enjoy cost savings through reduced shipping expenses and material usage. The efficiency gains achieved through automation enable companies to allocate resources more effectively, improving overall productivity and profitability. Additionally, embracing sustainable packaging practices aligns with consumer’s growing preference for eco-friendly brands.

Work with Ribble Packaging

Ribble Packaging has already been able to enhance the speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of furniture packaging processes for the likes of Wren Kitchens, One Call Furniture, Magnet and BA Components to name but a few by adopting Right Size packaging with Panotec.

As the furniture industry continues to evolve, packaging will play an increasingly important role in shaping the customer experience. By prioritising investment in Right Size packaging technology, manufacturers can stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for long-term success.

If you would like to discuss the possibilities of Panotec, get in contact.

Why Packaging Waste Matters: New Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Updates

The way we package our goods can significantly contribute to a better planet, so it’s no surprise the spotlight is now on sustainability in packaging practices, with updated regulations on packaging waste set to come in October 2025.
These regulations come in the form of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a regulatory framework aimed at changing how we approach packaging waste. Whether you’re sourcing materials domestically or relying on imports, this impending scheme is set to reshape your packaging operations.
This blog serves as an informative follow-up to our previous discussions on the topic, providing the latest updates on EPR.

Understanding EPR

At its core, EPR shifts the responsibility for packaging waste management onto producers, requiring them to bear the full cost of collection, sorting, treatment, and recycling. Recent updates to EPR regulations have brought about significant changes, including the introduction of modulated fees. The payment year has also been deferred from October 2024 to October 2025, however, businesses are still required to declare their packaging waste for 2023.
This initiative is driven by the objective of incentivising producers to limit packaging waste and enhance recyclability. This shift inevitably carries financial implications, as costs are predicted to increase. Therefore, it’s important to understand how EPR will influence your packaging operations and how you can proactively mitigate associated expenses.

Aligning Packaging Practices with EPR

EPR encourages producers to rethink packaging choices and design, urging businesses to embrace recyclable materials and eco-design principles while reducing waste. As companies gear up to comply with EPR regulations, it’s clear that innovative solutions will be essential in meeting these new standards effectively.

How can Right Size Packaging Help?

Right Size solutions combine Ribble’s industry-leading Fanfold material and state-of-the-art technology to create the perfect size box for all products. This ensures every item of packaging fits the product exactly, negating the need for void fillers and excess packaging.
We have a simple 4-step process for our Right Size solutions:
1. Enter box style and dimensions.
2. Select how many are required.
3. The box is produced within seconds.
4. Products are packaged in the perfect-sized box.

As well as saving on EPR tax, businesses will save on fuel and transport costs, regain warehouse space and save on labour costs, all resulting in up to 30% savings on packaging costs.
If you would like to discuss EPR in more detail with some of the packaging experts at Ribble Packaging, you can contact us at info@ribble-pack.co.uk or visit our contact page.

Print & POS Companies Deserve Better Packaging

Many print & POS companies are finding their hard work undone due to improper packaging.

Print and POS are often known for their creativity, but delivering exceptional work to clients extends beyond the ink on the page or setting up a sales display – it’s about ensuring that it arrives in pristine condition. The journey from print to delivery is often overlooked, yet it presents a significant opportunity to increase profits simply by embracing efficient packaging practices.

Why Efficient Packaging is Important

Efficient packaging serves as more than just a protective means during delivery, it should be considered an investment that saves time, money, and resources. By streamlining packaging processes, print and POS companies not only reduce the risk of damaged stock, but also reduce unnecessary expenses associated with overstocking and wasteful packaging materials. For instance, efficient packaging can lead to faster order fulfilment, reducing labour costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Additionally, companies embracing sustainable packaging practices not only return better cost savings but also contribute to a healthier planet, aligning with the growing pressures on corporate social responsibility. According to a recent study, just a 1% increase in CSR investments leads to a 0.3% increase in sales growth.

Right Size Packaging Solution

Right Size is the development of on demand packaging production. This technology enables companies to produce packaging precisely tailored to the dimensions of each product, eliminating the need for excessive filler or wasted space.

Working with Fanfold corrugated material offers the perfect solution to addressing the challenges of varied job sizes and delicate displays. With Right Size packaging, print & POS companies can begin to modernise their packaging operation and reduce expenditure.

Whether handling small scale print orders or large format POS displays, these solutions can adjust to accommodate various requirements allowing companies to innovate and expand their offerings. With the flexibility of Right Size solutions, you remain agile and responsive.

Ribble Packaging

By embracing Right Size packaging solutions print and POS companies can unlock substantial cost savings while delivering undamaged products to your clients.

Learn more about Ribble’s Right Size Packaging Solutions and how they can benefit your Print or POS business today. If you want to speak about your packaging needs in greater detail, call us on 0161 284 9000.

Bulk Buying Doesn’t Always Mean Savings

The way products are packaged can significantly impact a company’s bottom line, and for years the go-to strategy has been bulk buying both packaging materials and void filler, but what many fail to realise are the hidden costs associated with this traditional approach.

Rethinking Bulk Buying

Bulk buying packaging materials has long been the default option for many companies due to the attractive discounts offered on larger quantities. Yet, this seemingly cost-effective strategy may be putting a strain on your warehouse space. Worse yet, if you cater to many different sized products, your packaging can sit for long periods of time.

However, there is a more efficient and cost-effective way to approach your packaging…

Getting it Right First Time

Investing in Right Size packaging solutions can significantly reduce packaging costs by up to 40%. It is already being utilised by various industries, from furniture to manufacturing. This approach is centred on efficiency and cost-effectiveness, as companies use rolls of fanfold cardboard that adapt to different product shapes and sizes seamlessly.

This works by scanning and entering the box style and dimensions, selecting the quantity required then your box is produced within seconds. With this precise customisation, it allows for the perfect sized box every time, eliminating any need for void filler, meaning less clutter and the opportunity to optimise your warehouse space.

Real Packaging Cost Savings

One of our clients, BG Sports, struggled with their packaging as they shipped sports memorabilia in all different shapes and sizes. Bulk buying packaging was inefficient and ordering smaller quantities was too expensive. With the business growing, space started to become an issue, and that’s why they invested in Right Size solutions. They achieved a significant reduction in packaging material usage and storage costs, reducing their packaging bill from £400k a year down to £200k, thanks to the adoption of Ribble’s Right Size. Read more about their story here.

The benefits of Right Size packaging extend beyond this case study. It also reduces material wastage, lowers shipping expenses, decreases product damage and returns, maximises shipping capacity, and helps businesses adapt to price increases in the supply chain. Companies that adopt this approach not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also witness a positive impact on their bottom line, making it a win-win solution.

Choosing Ribble Packaging

As businesses reassess their packaging strategies, we encourage you to explore the many costs saving benefits with Right Size solutions. At Ribble Packaging, we specialise in providing tailored solutions that align with your business needs. Contact us today on 0161 284 9000.

How Right Size Technology can save you thousands on fuel and energy costs

In 2020 1.27 billion tonnes of goods were carried by trucks and HGVs across the UK, covering 16.2 billion road miles.

Due recent socioeconomic and political factors the cost to fuel these HGVs has risen by £173 per week. Diesel has hit a record high of £1.70 per litre, while petrol now costs an average of £1.61 per litre.

With fuel and energy costs soaring; Inflation is at its highest level for over 30 years, with much of these rises passed onto the consumer as firms simply cannot absorb such significant increases (Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK).

 

What’s Happening Now?

Fuel accounts for a third of an HGV’s annual operating cost.”  So ‘The Road Haulage Association’ wants the Government to freeze fuel duty for two years. It also wants an “essential user” rebate for lorry and coach firms of 15p per litre introduced.

Rising fuel prices are putting further pressure on retail supply chains. This adds to cost pressures from labour shortages, commodity price increases and rising energy prices in consequence, until some pressures ease, it’s likely prices will continue to rise.

Meanwhile, analysis shows the annual average cost of running a typical family car, including fuel, has shot up by nearly £300. Many consumers are having to choose between purchasing food, heating their homes or putting petrol in their cars.

 

How Ribble Right Size Can Help?

Many people overlook the importance of packaging when it comes to shipping goods, but an efficient and effective packaging supply is essential to keeping the product safe and most importantly keeping customers happy.

Ribble Right Size solutions improve vehicle utilisation by 25%. This means companies who have implemented Right Size can fit 25% more product in each vehicle drastically decreasing fuel consumption.

By Right Sizing your packaging supply you will gain the ability to create the perfect size box for all your products on-site, on-demand, eliminating any wasted space in your packages and therefore any wasted space in your transport vehicle.

With Right Size there is no need for additional protective packaging materials such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts as your boxes will now fit your products perfectly, increasing product protection, decreasing the weight of your packages, and making your packaging process fully sustainable.

There are also many other benefits of using our Right Size solutions. These include up to a 30% reduction in packaging costs, savings on labour costs through increased automation, increased warehouse space and more.

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product is costing you money. By introducing Right Size Technology, you can get more boxes in each vehicle, meaning fewer journeys and less money spent on fuel and diesel.

 

How sustainable is your Christmas packaging?

It’s that time of year again. The time that we do everything in excess, from food, to spending.

But does that mean you have to have an unsustainable Christmas?

As we all know, Christmas can be a time for spending time with loved ones and exchanging gifts, but with it is estimated that around 1 in 4 households will be generating up to 5 bags of rubbish this Christmas!

Much of children’s toys are packaged in plastic or oversized packaging which is bulky and often unnecessary for the size of the present inside. On top of that, there is wrapping paper which, often, you are unable to recycle, which then doubles the amount of waste.

Let’s not forget about the Christmas dinner. Single use plastics have come to the forefront of the sustainable packaging discussion, many of which occur as a result of food packaging.

How can you make your Christmas more sustainable?

It is everybody’s responsibility, to make small changes this Christmas in an effort to reduce the amount of waste created within the household. So, we have put together a few pointers that may help you make some more sustainable choices.

Recyclable wrapping paper

If you’re unsure about what wrapping paper can be recycled and what can’t, it’s important to check with your local recycling centre. Recycle Now have some great pointers on what you can do to ensure that your paper does actually get recycled if accepted at your local centre, including:

  • Making sure all sticky tape, bows and ribbons are removed before recycling
  • Only recycling simple wrapping paper that doesn’t have any glitter or foil as these cannot be recycled.

Present sacks

Another way to reduce the waste this Christmas is to purchase some present sacks & stockings. These can be brought back out every Christmas and eliminate the need to wrap your gifts or find recyclable wrapping paper.

Food & drinks using sustainable packaging

Many supermarkets are introducing refillable packaging services within their stores and this is likely to continue. Why not check out your local supermarket to see if there are any ingredients in your Christmas dinner that could be switched out for a more sustainably packaged option?

Ribble Right Size

At Ribble our aim is to introduce Right Size packaging to more and more manufacturers so that we can help reduce the overall waste when it comes to cardboard packaging.

 

Get in touch today to find out more about the benefits of Right Size.

How to take back control of your packaging supply in 2021

Deemed the new ‘beige gold’, cardboard supply is still very much in high demand as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic increase in online shopping has led to this over the past 12 months.

According to The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, the UK’s eCommerce sector achieved the highest online sales growth in 13 years. Total online retail sales growth was up 36% in 2020, so it’s not surprising the devastating effects this has had on businesses nationwide.

Struggling to cope with cardboard material supply, many online retailers have experienced a delay in their deliveries, which in turn has been impactful on their customer satisfaction. Even the big retailers, Asda, Lidl and the Co-op started to feel the pinch early on last year, as many consumers were asking why their egg packaging was replaced with plastic packaging. This was an early warning of what was to come for the world of packaging…

Before the pandemic, businesses were relatively responsible when it came to recycling. Packaging would be quickly returned into the recycling system, but now the industry tackles the problem of relying on individuals to recycle properly.

“What we’ve found is people tend to store product boxes in their garages or simply in their homes without realising the detrimental effects this is having on cardboard supply,” says Stephen Rector, Managing Director at Ribble Packaging.

Less recyclable cardboard is being returned into the system and paper manufacturers are struggling to create the supply to meet demand. Paper has become scarce, and some corrugated manufacturers are having to ration their supply and let customers down.

So how can you future-proof your packaging supply chain in a volatile market?

By implementing a Right Size packaging solution.

Fit-to-product boxes can help by considerably cutting the amount of cardboard you use. By only using the right size box, it means you only have to purchase one type of packaging material such as Fanfold, removing the need to order multiple styles and sizes.

This flexible on-demand right size packaging solution is guaranteed to save you up to 25% in packaging costs and is a much more sustainable solution, as it removes the need to purchase additional void fillers; a win, win.

To find out more about Ribble Right Size, please click here or get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your options.

 

Top 10 benefits of switching to Right Size Packaging in 2021

Want to find a way to keep your customers happy this year, well it’s time to look at how you can be more sustainable…

Firstly, why do small things come in such big packages in the first place? Protection! As noted by many eCommerce companies, retailers over the years have chosen to package items with unfavourable amount of padding and air to prevent items from getting damaged in transit. But this is no longer an issue thanks to smarter packaging options that meet the needs of the growing number of environmentally conscious customers.

With Right Sized Packaging, you can benefit from:

  1. Improved Packaging Protection

Rest assured each product/item is snug and secure, reducing any chance of breakages during delivery and increasing customer satisfaction.

  1. A perfect size box for all your orders

Over the years, more and more people are conscious about their decisions that affect the environment and climate change, i.e. waste. Keep your customers happy by reminding them you are conscious too.

  1. Reduction in packaging costs

Packaging can be costly but utilising the right sized packaging for your products, means you only use the amount you need. Keeping the cost of materials down as you won’t need to order as much!

  1. Reduction in vehicle utilisation

With smaller packaging boxes, you’ll be able to fit so much more on your delivery vans when transporting your product to the end-user. Reducing journeys and cutting cost, not to mention lowering your carbon emissions!

  1. Elimination of plastic packaging

Plastic packaging can take hundreds of years, if not thousands to biodegrade! Switching to a cardboard packaging material saves landfill sites from being overloaded with waste packaging.

  1. Less labour intensive

With a quicker packaging process, Ribble Right Size saves time and cuts down the process, keeping pressure off your warehouse staff.

  1. Reduced admin

With fewer materials used, you won’t need to order as much. Plus you only have to order 1 product (Fanfold) from 1 supplier, rather than multiple sizes and styles of boxes.

  1. Eliminating all void fill packaging

Making you more efficient and improving profit margin as you’ll be using less packaging.

  1. More Warehouse Space

More room for those great products of yours and less floor space wasted on excessive packaging!

  1. Flexibility to make the right box on demand

No more worry about whether you have the right size box or the right style, Ribble Right Size is fully flexible, so you’re covered for everything.

 

Interested to hear more about Right Size Packaging? Get in touch and we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process of switching and getting you on board to be more sustainable in 2021.

Leading The Way With Packaging Innovation

According to the Office of National Statistics, 82% of people in the UK shopped online in 2019 (a rise of 4% against 2018). That’s a lot of goods being shipped, and a lot of packaging being used. And, given how much of that packaging will have been too big for the goods being shipped, it’s a lot of waste and unnecessary cost.

When it comes to unnecessary packaging, waste and cost aren’t the only factors to consider. There is another side too: consumer opinion.  A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing found that 88% of people think their online shopping comes with too much packaging. And, a further 30% said too much packaging puts them off ordering with the same company again. 

Thankfully, for businesses who sell goods online, packaging innovation means tailor-made boxes, produced on demand are now an option available to retailers and manufacturers. A solution that, in the longer-term, can save them time and money while building a loyal customer base. 

What is on demand packaging?

On demand packaging is an innovative packaging solution that allows businesses to produce boxes to the exact size of the goods they’re shipping. State of the art machinery scans goods and cuts corrugated cardboard to the exact size needed. They’re a simple and effective solution to the problem of too much packaging. The results are less waste, less cost, higher levels of customer satisfaction and a smaller environmental footprint.

On demandPackaging innovation with

There are a number of on demand packaging solutions on the market and available in the UK, including:

CMC CartonWrap

CMC’s CartonWrap is an automated packaging system capable of producing 1,000 on demand boxes an hour. Each box fits the exact size and shape of the goods to be shipped. These are made in ‘real-time’ after an order is processed and ready for shipping. 

Businesses around the world use Carton Wrap. This includes Lakeland in the UK. However, the machine is primarily designed for larger enterprises that ship in high volumes. As a result, and due to its size, it doesn’t work as well for smaller businesses or those with limited warehouse space.

Neopost CVP-500

Neopost’s CVP-500 is a smaller machine, though possibly still not ideal for businesses with limited space due to its size. The machine is designed for mid-market businesses and makes up to 500 boxes an hour. Each fits the product it is shipping perfectly.  According to Neopost, the CVP-500 is equivalent to 15 packaging stations and saves businesses up to 20% on cardboard compared to traditional, standardised, packaging.

Ribble Right Size

Panotec’s machinery is available exclusively in the UK through Ribble, a Lancashire based packaging company who have been delivering innovative packaging solutions to its customers for 80 years. Right Size works seamlessly with Ribble’s fanfold cardboard, meaning it saves businesses 25% on cardboard and 100% on void fillers. It also means businesses have consistent access to high-quality materials and don’t have to worry about MOQs.

Unlike Neopost and CMC’s automated packaging machines, Right Size machinery is available in three sizes, meaning there is likely one that works for most businesses. Their smallest model, the Compak 1.4, for example, is only 1.4 metres wide and can produce 600 boxes an hour. There is also the Compak Evo, which produces 720 boxes per hour and the larger Next Mode model produces 840 boxes per hour.

The Benefits of On Demand Packaging

While there is an initial outlay to buying an on demand packaging system, something which may make businesses nervous, the short and long-term benefits make any investment well worthwhile. 

Speed

On demand packaging systems are fast, much faster than packaging by hand. As a result, businesses can be much more responsive to customer demand, fulfilling orders more quickly. It’s worth remembering that, as well as speed, companies should consider volume. As we’ve seen, different machinery can produce different numbers of boxes in an hour. 

It is important that businesses choose equipment that produces boxes at the rate they need them to. It is easy for businesses to over-estimate how many boxes they need. It is worth noting that Amazon’s new automated packaging system, for example, only produces 700 boxes an hour.

Accuracy

Systems like Right Size take the guesswork out of packaging. Businesses can be confident knowing that they will never order packaging that is too big or too small for the goods they want to ship. Plus, because systems produce labels at the same time as boxes, there is less chance of an order shipping to the wrong location. 

Flexibility

Not all products fit nicely into a standard box.  For example, Ribble work with Showcard who produce point of sale and large scale display posters. Both need specific packaging to ensure goods arrive at their destination in excellent condition. This isn’t always possible with ‘one size fits all’ boxes. It is possible with packaging innovation where businesses can size boxes to meet their specific needs.

Costs

Following the initial layout, on demand packaging machines can lead to huge costs savings, including:

Materials

Neopost estimates their CVP-500 saves 20% on conventional packaging. Right Size, meanwhile, can save a business 25% in corrugated cardboard, a significant saving. There is also less need for void filler. This is one of the most expensive parts of packaging because a) it costs money to buy and b) it costs money to transport. With void filler, businesses are basically paying to ship air. With systems such as Right Size, because it uses corrugated cardboard to protect goods, the need for void filler is completely eliminated.

Warehousing

Storing standardised boxes takes up space, resulting in warehouse costs that can be avoided by on demand packaging. An added benefit here is that the less packaging a business has to store, the more space they have to store goods (while not having to increase their square footage).

Errors

Goods picked and packed by hand are more likely to contain errors, leading to customers receive the wrong goods. When this happens, businesses sometimes take it as a loss, estimating it costs more to ship the products back that have the customer keep them. There is, however, a cost for then sending out the correct item. Packaging innovation reduces the risk of errors as it scans goods before packaging; some systems have digital displays that allow staff to match goods to orders. 

Damage

The chances of goods being damaged in transit increases when they are incorrectly packaged. This can be the result of boxes being the wrong size or insufficient void filler. Businesses then have to send replacement goods, which they have to pay for.

Transport

While the goods businesses ship determines their transport costs, most say shipping is their biggest outlay. In fact, some industry experts estimate transportation costs can run as high as 50%. Packaging innovation reduces the size of the packaging, meaning businesses can load more goods into their delivery vans. As a result, shipping goods requires fewer trucks and fewer journeys. This, in turn, reduces running costs and a company’s carbon footprint.

The Environmental Impact

Perhaps one of the most positive benefits of on demand packaging systems is that they reduce a business’s environmental impact.  This is becoming increasingly important to consumers. The Charted Institute of Marketing survey we mentioned earlier, for example, found:

  • 36% of people surveyed judge a company’s ethics based on their packaging
  • 17% had complained to a company because of excess packaging with their goods
  • 10% were less likely to place an online order because of the amount of packaging a company used
  • 25% were willing to pay more for sustainable packaging; this is something Ribble offer in all their packaging, 100% of which is recyclable.

With packaging innovation and on demand solutions, businesses can honestly tell their customers that they are reducing their:

  • Levels of waste
  • Carbon footprint
  • Use of plastic

At the same time, they are increasing the use of recyclable materials. This should have a positive impact on how they are seen and could increase sales.

Competitive Advantage

Finally, on demand packaging systems offer businesses a competitive edge. They are simple and inexpensive to run, increase productivity and reduce costs. And, because they are innovative and not widely used, they allow businesses to work in ways others in their market can’t. This is incredibly important when profit margins are tight, or markets are crowded. It provides a way for businesses to offer their customers a competitive price and a high level of service. Both of which should lead to increased sales and repeat orders.

Over time, because of the benefits that packaging innovation offers and customer demand for sustainable packaging, there is no doubt that on demand packaging will increase in popularity.  What better time, then, than now, to invest in a state-of-the-art product that could change the way you do business and your customers see you?

The Manufacturer’s Guide To Packaging Paintings And Wall Art

Over the last ten years, the UK has experienced rapid growth in online sales. Clothes and household items aren’t all people are buying. Today, people are buying anything and everything online, including paintings and wall art. 

Some of the most difficult items to pack are paintings and wall art, especially if they are framed. Framed artwork and pictures don’t fit usual packing standards, meaning they need special care and attention when shipping. The frames themselves, for example, are often large yet flimsy. Glass covers a large percentage of paintings, and the artwork itself is at risk of damage from the wrong type of packaging or glass breaking.  

Here we look at how best to package paintings and wall art for shipping. First, though, we’ll look at what to avoid with painting packaging. 

What not to do when packaging paintings and wall art

When packaging paintings and wall art, it’s a good idea to avoid:

  • Using packing materials that can scratch glass or leave marks on the canvas. A perfect example of this is newspaper, which a lot of sites recommended using as additional packaging. Another is parchment paper, which can scratch glass. 
  • Using Styrofoam peanuts as additional packaging. While these might seem a good option, they can break down in transit, especially with heavier frames. These small pieces can lodge between the frame and glass. More environmentally-friendly options, such as corn starch peanuts, also breakdown under pressure. They can also turn to ‘glue’ with moisture, causing damage to paintings. 
  • Shipping loose canvases with their frame. It is much better to roll up the canvas and ship it separately. 

Packaging paintings correctly

While every painting and piece of artwork is different, these steps will help make sure they are packaged correctly.

  1. Place the painting on a flat surface when preparing it for shipping. The surface should be stable and bigger than the painting itself.
  2. Use masking tape to mark an X across any glass frame. This will help keep the glass in place during shipping. It also protects the artwork if the glass breaks in transit. 
  3. Use thick card as a cover where there isn’t a glass frame. The card or cardboard should cover the painting, not the frame. Alternatives to card and cardboard include foam or felt. Avoid bubble wrap touching the artwork directly as this could cause static, which can damage a painting. 
  4. Use bubble wrap to cover the painting and the frame. Use at least two layers, one horizontally and one vertically, which will keep the painting more secure in transit. Secure the bubble wrap with masking tape at the back of the painting, holding it in place. 
  5. Choose the right sized box for the frame being shipped. If it is too large, it could move in transit, damaging the painting. Use additional packaging such as brown paper If there is space once the frame is in the box to avoid it moving in transit.  
  6. For extra-large frames (those more than 30 inches high/wide) use a telescopic box. Telescopic boxes extend to fit the frame. Alternatively, use two boxes or use cardboard cut to the size of the frame. Make sure the cardboard is thick enough to protect the painting in transit.
  7. Once the frame is in the box, lift and move the package to see if it moves in transit. If it does, add additional packaging. 
  8. Seal the edges with packing tape. Use enough tape to make sure the seals won’t open during transit. 
  9. Mark the package FRAGILE. Place labels where they can be easily seen. If needed, use more than one.
  10. Choose the right shipping method. Ideally, this will be a courier, one who specialises in shipping artwork and who understands how to handle fragile packages. If the painting is expensive or an antique, make sure it is properly insured so that if it is damaged the business, and the customer, are protected. 

Packaging Sizes

Of all of these, getting the right size box is probably the most important step, yet the one most often ignored. There is a temptation for businesses to order boxes in bulk to cut costs and then try and make the frames fit. Using packaging that is too large for the frame, however, is putting the painting at risk, something that should be avoided at all costs. 

Fortunately, there are now lots of options available to ensure you have the right-sized boxes. You can ask a box manufacturer to deliver custom-sized boxes for your products. Alternatively, you can invest in a packaging machine, which will create a box to the right size of each individual product you plan to ship. 

 

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